ChatGPT Isn't Coming for Travel Agents' Jobs — Not Yet, At Least

ChatGPT Isn’t Coming for Travel Agents’ Jobs — Not Yet, At Least

As vacationers turn to ChatGPT, here's how it's affecting travel agents.

Advancements in technology have changed the way we book our trips. With the emergence of AI technologies, including chatbots, new tools can make vacation planning smoother. As ChatGPT provides personalised recommendations for trips, travel agents have started to worry about their futures in the industry. Although ChatGPT is likely here to stay, a real-life travel agent still has much to offer.

ChatGPT and travel planning

chatgpt travel agents

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ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is designed to interact with users conversationally. The tool makes it convenient and easy to ask about travel agendas. You can ask for hotel recommendations in France, activities in Tokyo, or the best restaurants in Prague.

Making travel plans with AI has the following advantages:

  • Speed. If you want to find information quickly, AI can provide instant answers. Simply type in your query, and results pop up in seconds.
  • Personalisation. ChatGPT is consistently evolving to help meet the individual’s needs. Travel suggestions may be tailored to the person’s budget, interests, and other details.
  • Convenience. Travellers don’t need to wait for an agent to return a call or email. ChatGPT is ready to help 24/7.
  • Cost-savings. Booking with a travel agent often involves paying a fee.
  • Accuracy. ChatGPT processes large amounts of data instantly. Travellers will not have to search multiple sites for flight schedules, hotel availability, and travel restrictions.

Limitations of ChatGPT in the travel industry

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ChatGPT may provide prompt recommendations, but the tool lacks the human touch. Travel agents possess emotional intelligence and can build long-term relationships with clients. These qualities are crucial in understanding individual travel preferences, addressing concerns, and providing personalised suggestions.

AI also has limitations depending on updates. At the end of 2023, ChatGPT’s knowledge base was only trained on information until April 2023. Travellers should always confirm the information provided through ChatGPT before booking flights or accommodations.

Most of the travel planning queries manageable by ChatGPT are straightforward. The AI tool struggles with complex itineraries. For instance, AI may not help if you plan to travel through Europe, making multiple stops during your trip.

AI won’t help much if you face problems while planning your travels. When planning a trip, there are bound to be issues with flights, hotels, car rentals, etc. ChatGPT may have difficulty offering solutions to the problems. Also, chatbots are reliant on technology to work correctly. Any technical issues or connectivity problems could disrupt the user experience and affect customer satisfaction.  

The Role of Human Travel Agents

chatgpt travel agents

Image credit: Real_life_Studio

Although AI has its uses, travel agents remain essential to the industry. Travel agents should feel a sense of job security for the following reasons:

Tailored Services

Travel agents build relationships with clients, gaining insights into their preferences, travel history, and other unique requirements. This personalised touch enhances the overall travel experience and ensures clients’ expectations are met or exceeded.

Expert Knowledge

With the potential of years in the field, travel agents have insights that can’t be duplicated anywhere else. Agents have extensive knowledge about flights, hotels, and excursions. For instance, although a hotel sounds appealing online, the agent may have insider knowledge that the place could be more luxurious than presented.

As part of their jobs, they also stay updated with the latest travel trends, regulations, and safety protocols.

Emotional Support

Although travelling is fun, it can also produce a lot of stress—over 82% of individuals who travel report feeling anxious about travel-related issues. Concerns include budget constraints, long wait times, cancelled plans, and lack of availability. Agents can address concerns, answer questions, and alleviate any anxieties associated with your upcoming trip.


Humans are better at adapting to the unexpected. If a problem arises, the agent will have an arsenal of tools to diffuse the situation. With insider knowledge and connections, travel agents can help resolve any booking issues.

AI and Travel Agents Working Together

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Travel agencies have recognised the need for AI and human agents to work together. Companies like have recently launched a new feature with technology derived from OpenAI’s ChatGPT model. The goal with the inclusion was to start a person’s trip planning process, not replace it entirely.  

Instead of a rival, travel agents can view ChatGPT as an effective tool to assist their clients. AI allows travel agents to access real-time information and gain insights on destinations, weather, and travel trends.

ChatGPT could act as an aid for travel agents to handle initial queries. After the chatbot provides some basic information, the agents can research suggestions further. Without initial research, the travel agent is freed up for more pressing matters.

Security measures

Utilising the advantages of this technology should not be done without care. As ChatGPT gets smarter, so do cybersecurity attacks.

Travel agents using AI tools should consider using a ChatGPT VPN. A VPN secures your connection while accessing ChatGPT and keeps the fact you’re using the AI private. It’s a simple solution to a major threat.

Also read: These Are the Safest Countries in the World in 2023

A Few Final Words

While chatbots have the potential to streamline travel planning, they cannot replace the role of travel agents. The human touch and problem-solving abilities of travel agents are irreplaceable. The future of the travel industry lies in leveraging AI technology to enhance travel agents’ capabilities and not replace them entirely.

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TripZilla inspires travel with guides, tips and stories by our community of travellers in and around Southeast Asia.


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